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Tuesday, October 13 2009

Castle Walls of Blood and Bone: An Interview with Converge

With four landmark albums this decade alone, Converge has saved its best work for last. Vocalist Jacob Bannon talks with PopMatters about his music, his art, and his insanely talented band.


Sunday, October 11 2009

The Messengers

K'naan's The Messengers series is a trilogy of episodes designed to highlight the genius of Nigeria's Fela Kuti, Jamaica's Bob Marley, and the United States' Bob Dylan.


Wednesday, October 7 2009

New Kids on the Block: Hangin’ Tough, Refusing to Let Go

In 1989, I loathed the New Kids on the Block with a passion and intensity that only junior high-aged children can bring to their study of popular culture, yet when Hangin’ Tough Live hit DVD, I had to see it.


Tuesday, October 6 2009

Rosanne Cash on Johnny Cash’s List

Johnny Cash was a serious scholar of music, and this knowledge was reflected in his own work, which included covers of everyone and everything from Jimmie Rodgers to Nine Inch Nails, oldtime hymns to reggae.


Thursday, October 1 2009

On the Sixth Day God Created Man…Chester: Part Three

Manchester's working class population showed the world that trade unions can resist authority. Such solidarity and class consciousness is heard in the arrogant sneers of the Stone Roses and Oasis.


They Came From Detroit

From Marshall Crenshaw looking spiffy in a powder gray suit with matching fedora to ... Carnival Cruise ship reggae?


Wednesday, September 30 2009

Kris Kristofferson: Leonard Cohen-esque

Kristofferson at times evokes Leonard Cohen, with a voice that pulls the listener into the depths of darkened barrooms, whether to share a sob story or a bit of tongue-in-cheek sagacity. His 20th album is out soon.


Wedding Players

When it comes to controlling the behavior of revelers at a wedding fest -- or rather, rolling with the behavior of revelers at a wedding fest -- a live band can adapt far better than the average DJ.


Tuesday, September 29 2009

Truck Drivin’ Songwritin’ Man

Trucking songs, with their heart-of-gold waitresses, foggy nights, heavy loads, and rolling tires, must hit some modern emotional sweet spot, and musicians on the road share a kindred spirit with truckers.


Monday, September 21 2009

Brazilian Funk and Cuban Soul Heat Up the Northern Climes

A killer samba beat and an irresistible Cuban Sway: Brazil's futuristic Otto and Cuban expat Alex Cuba deliver soulful sounds.


Tuesday, September 15 2009

Jazz Cellist Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’

Peggy Lee—the cellist, not the late singer—is nevertheless all about singing of a sort. She talks to PopMatters about creativity and collaboration in the beautiful city of Vancouver.


Tuesday, September 8 2009

Digital Downsizing: CD to MP3 the Hard Way

When paring down your music collection, is it OK to prune songs off classic albums? An aesthetic (and moral) dilemma...


Monday, September 7 2009

Louisiana Woman, Texas Troubadour

Need more duets in your life? Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb are among country music's best partnerships.


Thursday, September 3 2009

Ride This Time Machine Down a Road Less Traveled

Jump into that ’59 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz with the maxed-out tailfins, contemplate what an original Barbie doll could fetch on eBay, and enjoy this roll call of Reasons Why Everything Changed in 1959.


Drunk and Driven

Delilah's on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago is everything The Rockist wants in a bar. Loud. Comfortable. Cheap.


Wednesday, September 2 2009

Buster Keaton: The Sound of His Obsession

Bill Frisell's ambient, fuzzy, meandering guitar doodles sound like they're trying to approximate the sad stillness blowing through the corridors of Keaton's mind.


Just Eat It

I'll take the wasabi potato croquettes that came with the lamb racks in the "Sheep in Wolf's Clothing" dish (inspired by TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me") over Hard Rock's seasoned fries any day.


Sunday, August 30 2009

The (Indie) Music Industry Is All Right

The media is too preoccupied with the funeral arrangements of the mainstream music industry to celebrate the life that is happening elsewhere.


Tuesday, August 25 2009

Tuva Meets Technology

From the ‘non-existent’ land of Siberia comes the long-existing sound of Tuvan drumming and throat singing.


Monday, August 24 2009

Maxwell and the Soul of Neo Soul

If Dr. Martin Luther King composed songs they may very well sound like Maxwell at his best.


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